Capparis micracantha (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Capparis micracantha DC.

Protologue: Prodr. 1: 247 (1824).


Capparis odorata Blanco (1837), Capparis myrioneura Hallier f. (1906).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: balung, kledung (Javanese), sanek (Madurese)
  • Malaysia: kaju tuju
  • Philippines: salimbagat (Tagalog), tarabtab (Iloko), salimomo (Bisaya)
  • Cambodia: kanchoen bai dach
  • Laos: say sou
  • Thailand: chingchee (central), kradaat khaao (central), nuat maeo daeng (northern)
  • Vietnam: bùng chè, cáp gai nhỏ.


From Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia, to Indonesia and the Philippines.


In the Philippines, a decoction of the roots is used in stomach-ache and as a uterine tonic after childbirth. In Indonesia, the plant has the same use as C. pyrifolia . The stem is crushed with water and applied topically to relieve pain and swellings. The pulp of the round, red to purple fruit has a sweet aromatic flavour, but is unsafe to eat when unripe.


A half-erect shrub or small tree with drooping branches, 1-6 m tall, rarely a vine 2-4 m tall, young branches zigzag, glabrous; leaves oval to oblong-lanceolate, 9.5-20 cm × 3-11 cm, base rounded, apex variable, rarely acuminate, coriaceous, shining, petiole 0.7-1.5 cm long, thorns patent, straight or slightly curved, 2-7 mm long, on flowering branches often absent; flowers 2-6 in a row, pedicel about 1 cm long; sepals ovate, 5.5-13 mm long, petals oblong or elliptical, 10-26 mm long, thin, white with yellow base, later turning dark red, stamens 20-45, filaments 2.5-3 cm long, white, gynophore 15-35 mm long, ovary and gynophore sometimes abortive; berry globular or ellipsoid, 2-6 cm in diameter, with 4 longitudinal sutures, yellow, orange or red and strongly smelling when ripe; seeds numerous, in whitish, slimy, sweet pulp. C. micracantha is found in brushwood, hedges and open forest, also along the seashore and in sandy locations, mostly below 500 m altitude.

Selected sources


  • Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Revised reprint. 2 volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Vol. 1 (A-H) pp. 1-1240, Vol. 2 (I-Z) pp. 1241-2444.


  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, 1948-1976. The wealth of India: a dictionary of Indian raw materials & industrial products. 11 volumes. Publications and Information Directorate, New Delhi, India.237, 407, 788.


F.I. Windadri